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What Does Clarifying Shampoo Do To Colored Hair?

If you’re a fan of colored hair, you know how important it is to keep your hair looking vibrant and healthy. But if you’ve heard of clarifying shampoo, you may be wondering what effect it can have on your color-treated hair.

What does clarifying shampoo do to colored hair? Will a clarifying shampoo strip away your hair dye? Keep on reading to find out!

A woman with long, thick black hair in a curly voluminous hair style, wearing a white bandeau top

What is a Clarifying Shampoo?

A clarifying shampoo is a deep cleaning shampoo that removes buildup from styling products, chemicals, and others build up left on the hair. It cleanses the hair to remove residue, dullness, and restores body and shine.

This type of shampoo is perfect for those with oily hair or who use lots of styling products, as these are usually heavier than regular shampoos.

Most clarifying shampoos also contain strengthening agents such as proteins or amino acids, which can make the hair appear more voluminous and healthy looking.

They have a higher pH level compared to regular shampoos, so they can be harsher if used too frequently—it’s important to follow up with a moisturizing conditioner after using one.

Those with color treated hair should only use this type of shampoo when absolutely necessary as it may strip away natural oils, leaving your locks dry and brittle over time. 

Why Do You Need To Use Clarifying Shampoo?

Using clarifying shampoo can have many benefits for the health and appearance of your hair, especially if you use styling products or live in an area with hard water.

Clarifying shampoos remove any buildup and residue, which can make your hair look dull and lifeless.

Plus, clarifying shampoos can help improve the effectiveness of any conditioning treatments that you use, as they ensure that your hair is free of any product buildup that can prevent your hair from absorbing essential nutrients.

Woman standing in her shower washing her hair with a clarifying shampoo

What Does Clarifying Shampoo Do To Colored Hair?

A clarifying treatment can be used to remove build up from clarifying shampoo on colored hair.

Clarifying shampoo is specifically formulated for this purpose and will remove dirt, oil, product build up, mineral deposits from hard water, chlorine and other chemicals that deposit in the hair over time.

This type of shampoo cuts through the buildup to give your hair a thorough cleanse. When used on color treated or dyed hair, it will help to enhance the vibrancy of the color while removing any dullness caused by residue buildup.

Clarifying shampoo may make your color appear more intense after use due to an improved ability for light reflection on a cleaner surface.

It can also slow down fading, so you don’t have to dye your hair as frequently since each time you do it adds stress and damage to the existing color molecules which causes them to fade faster.

Using a clarifying treatment once per month throughout the lifespan of your dyed or colored hair will help keep your color vibrant and looking great between salon visits.

What Is It In Clarifying Shampoos That Can Affect Your Hair Dye?

Clarifying shampoos are specially formulated to remove build-up from hair; they contain strong, surfactant-based cleansers that strip away oils and product residue, as well as a higher pH level than regular shampoos.

When used regularly, it can detract from the vibrancy of your hair dye over time.

Clarifying shampoos can also strip away the protective layer left by styling products such as hairspray and leave-in conditioners, which is why many people avoid using them if they’ve recently dyed their hair.

The higher alkaline content in clarifying shampoos will break down the bonds of natural color molecules in your hair as well, leaving it looking dull and faded.

On top of this, chlorides that are added to certain clarifying formulas can also cause their own set of problems for colored hair by depositing a film on its surface which interferes with dye penetration.

This causes color fading faster than usual and could lead to uneven coloring with particular shades or even patches where there was insufficient coverage when dying initially.

Woman with waist length dark brunette hair in a loose wave hairstyle

Can Clarifying Shampoo Lighten Hair?

Clarifying shampoo will remove any product residue, oils, and dirt which builds up on hair over time. This can be helpful in lightening the color of your hair if it has become too dark.

When using a clarifying shampoo, you may see some of the deeper tones start to fade over time as the cleaner removes them from strands.

You can also use a color stripper to speed up this process if desired. Cleanse the hair with a clarifying shampoo every few weeks for best results.

Those who want to lighten their hair without making drastic changes should look into getting a clarifying shampoo instead of more intensive methods that could damage their locks.

Not everyone needs a clarifying shampoo; unless you frequently use styling products or have naturally oily hair, then you may not benefit from one.

A regular cleanse should only be done several times each month to ensure that only build-up is removed, and healthy oils remain intact on the scalp and hairs to create an optimal shine. 

Is It Safe to Use Clarifying Shampoo on Freshly Dyed Hair?

Yes, it is safe to use clarifying shampoo on freshly dyed hair. Clarifying shampoos remove buildups from styling products and residue from tap water — both of which can be beneficial to newly dyed hair.

Because they contain fewer harsh ingredients than normal shampoos, clarifying shampoos are usually gentler on color-treated hair, meaning they won’t strip away the dye so quickly.

Clarifying shampoos are best used every one or two weeks to remove excess oil and product buildup that can lead to dullness and weighed down locks.

If you do frequent coloring, then using a clarifying shampoo once a month can help preserve your shade by preventing oils and bacteria from building up on your scalp and tresses.

It may also help to clarify out any excess pigments in the formula that has yet to settle onto the strands after an application, thus preserving its desired hue. 

Woman standing under her rainfall showerhead washing her hair with clarifying shampoo

Can Clarifying Shampoo Remove Semi-Permanent or Permanent Hair Dye?

Clarifying shampoo can help to fade hair dye, but it may not remove it entirely. Semi-permanent hair dye is easier to remove than permanent hair dye, as it does not penetrate the hair shaft as deeply.

However, using a clarifying shampoo to remove hair dye can be a harsh and drying process that can damage your hair if not done correctly.

Best Clarifying Shampoos for Color-Treated Hair

Some of the best clarifying shampoos for color-treated hair include the Bumble and Bumble Sunday Shampoo, Oribe The Cleanse Clarifying Shampoo, and Kérastase Reflection Bain Chromatique Riche Shampoo.

All of these shampoos are specially formulated to remove buildup and residue from the hair and scalp without stripping the color from your hair.

Choosing the right clarifying shampoo for your hair type will depend on several factors, including your hair texture, scalp condition, and the specific concerns that you have, such as oiliness or dandruff.

It’s best to consult a hairstylist or dermatologist to help you choose the right product for your needs.

Woman with freshly dyed brunette and red curly hair

What Other Hair Care Products Can Help Prevent Buildup on Your Hair and Scalp?

Other hair care products that can help prevent buildup on your hair and scalp include leave-in conditioners, hair serums, and hair masks, especially those that contain hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and panthenol.

If you can, try and avoid using too many styling products and try to wash your hair less frequently to prevent product buildup, and keep your color looking fresh.

Can You Use Natural Oils to Restore Moisture to Your Hair After Using Clarifying Shampoo?

Yes, you can use natural oils to restore moisture to your hair after using clarifying shampoo, as a color treatment to help boost nourishment within your hair.

Natural oils like coconut oil, argan oil, or olive oil can help nourish and moisturize your hair, providing essential fatty acids that help to strengthen hair, reduce frizz, and restore shine.

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How Much Clarifying Shampoo Should You Use?

When using clarifying shampoo, it is important to be aware of the amount and frequency you should use. Generally, a tablespoon-sized dollop is enough for shoulder length hair.

For longer hair, use two tablespoons. When addressing product build-up from styling products or pollution, clarifying shampoo should be used no more than once a week.

Make sure you don’t overdo it with clarifying shampoos, as they can strip away natural oils that keep your scalp healthy and make your hair look shiny and soft.

Plus, this type of shampoo contains ingredients such as sulfates, which may cause dryness and irritation if used too often. 


Overall, clarifying shampoo can be an excellent addition to your hair care routine. It helps to remove buildup and residue from the hair and scalp, leaving your hair looking and feeling its best.

However, if you have colored hair, it’s essential to choose a clarifying shampoo that is specifically formulated for colored hair to ensure that you don’t strip away your hair’s gorgeous hue. With these tips in mind, you can have the healthiest hair yet.